March 11, 2015- Albany, GA from WFXL- Most people may not grow up thinking they want to be a welder, but the option gets more attractive once you think about the money. Welding instructor Mike Waters says it can be pretty lucrative once you get into it.

"Generally you're going to start off at $10 or $12 an hour, but after two or three years, you can move into the journeyman position and make $25 and up," he said.

Not only that, but welding jobs are in demand now, The New York Times reports the total number of welders in the U.S. dropped by more than 200,000 from the 1980's to 2013, and some say with oil industries, especially on the Gulf Coast, Texas or in Colorado, they need more workers.

"The oil pipeline is really big right now and anything having to do with that, and also fabrication any structural welding. They're building a lot out there," said Joshua Shaw, a third-semester welding student at Albany Tech.

Waters credits the economy for making more welding jobs available. He said now that people are building again, there's more work to do.

Whatever it is, it translates to a more than 94 percent in-field placement rate at Albany Tech. in 2014. That means almost all students who complete the program are ending up in welding careers.

Plus, for some like Shaw, the money is just the start.

"I have friends right now who are actually asking me to build things for them or go fix things for them, so just to have that knowledge is going to bring me a long way in life," he said.

See original story @ WFXL

CLICK HERE to find out more about the Welding & Joining Technology program at Albany Technical College